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Submitted: August 11, 2000

Petitioner, the City of Philadelphia, Office of Children, Youth and Family Services (Department of Human Services or DHS), petitions for review of the final order of the Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) setting aside the order of the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals (BHA) which upheld a hearing officer’s adjudication recommending denial of K.F.’s request to have an indicated report of child abuse expunged. We affirm.

The hearing officer, in reaching his conclusion to deny expungement, made reference to the following facts: Philadelphia County Child Protective Services received a ChildLine *fn1 report alleging that the child, W.F., Jr. (DOB 4/01/85), on August 23, 1995, was beaten by his mother with a “pool stick,” breaking the stick while hitting W.F., Jr.. W.F., Jr. had bruises and welts on his right forearm and on the right side of his back. The police went to the scene and determined that there was no need to remove the child from the home. DHS assigned a social worker to the case. The social worker visited W.F., Jr.’s home the day following the incident to investigate the matter and spoke with K.F., W.F., Jr., and the child’s two siblings. K.F. admitted to the social worker that she hit W.F., Jr. with a pool stick. The pool stick was not for a regulation size pool table; it was approximately one inch thick and four feet long. K.F. hit W.F., Jr. with the pool stick approximately four or five times, breaking the stick on W.F., Jr.’s buttocks. W.F., Jr. showed the social worker the injuries on his back and welt marks on his arm which were inflicted when K.F. attempted to hit W.F., Jr.’s buttocks and W.F., Jr. tried to shield himself with his arms. Photographs, which the social worker took of W.F., Jr., show welts and a few bruises on the back and arm. These areas were still sore the day after the incident. After speaking with W.F., Jr.’s siblings, the social worker found that the type of punishment W.F., Jr. received was not the usual means of punishment administered by his parents. W.F., Jr. did not feel that he needed any medical attention and was not afraid to stay in the home. The social worker told K.F. that the report would be an “indicated” report *fn2 but that W.F., Jr. was not abused. K.F. applied to have the indicated child abuse report expunged but a hearing officer recommended that the application be denied.

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